Unprecedented attack on disabled veterans pensions continues
Presidents, Committee Members, Members and Friends,
Your responses to our recent e-mail
*Several respondents reprimanded us. They said we were too lenient on the Coalition government. They pointed out that the three nasty bills we warned about are just the start. Other Coalition government attacks, they pointed out, have been:
*The government withdrawing its share of an agreement with the States to fund Service pensioners concessions for travel, electricity, phone and council rates.
*Some (an increasing number) of regional DVA offices are closing, forcing veterans to visit Centrelink.
*The government attempt to axe an education bonus of $211 a year paid to the children of a dead or badly injured parent with overseas service.
*Relocating the VVCS NSW headquarters from Parramatta to DVAs offices in central Sydney, thus endangering its independence.
*The government has already pushed through Parliament legislation pausing the indexation of the asset-means-test free area for Part Service Pensioners, ceasing indexation of the Clean Energy Supplement for both Service Pensioners and Veteran Disability Pensioners as well as newly including military superannuation as income in the assessment for the Commonwealth Seniors Card.
*Reducing communication with the veteran community by axing several committees that represented veterans view to the department and government.
Quite a few respondents were angry that these changes were not announced by the Coalition before the September 2013 Federal Election; they were sprung as a nasty surprise soon after.
Mentioned too were:
*The government refusing to guarantee child care for young mums seeking family counselling at the VVCS.
*The government refusing to fix the Veterans Childrens Education Scheme which was shattered when its payments were not increased in line with Family Tax Benefit increases thus forcing veterans children to deal with Centrelink.
*The government refusing to remedy the obvious deficiencies in the system of appeals from the Repatriation Medical Authority to the Specialist Medical Review Council; a matter at the heart of Repatriation compensation.
*Other respondents were simply angry that the Coalition presented itself before the election as specially grateful for the contribution and sacrifice of veterans, then turned on them.